Sam Neill learned of the ‘Jurassic Park’ brachiosaur’s fate during an interview

jurassic park
via Universal

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is easily the worst film in the Jurassic franchise (though early reviews suggest Jurassic World: Dominion isn’t too hot either). Tonally out of step with the rest of the franchise, the new extra-evil dinosaur (which may as well wink at the camera and twirl its mustache) is dumb, and the whole human cloning subplot never really adds up to much.

But there is at least one very touching scene in the movie. The first half of the movie follows the desperate attempt to evacuate as many dinosaurs as possible from Isla Nublar before it explodes. Though many are indeed saved on a boat, the characters look back as the island explodes to see a lone Brachiosaur standing on the dock, which rears up and wails mournfully as the toxic smoke consumes it.

The gut punch for fans is knowing that this is the specific Brachiosaur that so amazed Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park all those years ago. Sam Neill just found this out, and had the appropriate reaction:

“I didn’t know it was the same one. Well, that is heartbreaking. Such a sweet creature.”

The comment came in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, in which he also explained why he’d signed on for one more Jurassic adventure:

“Look, I wanted to make sure that our characters were well served and that it wouldn’t be a nominal return and that we wouldn’t be glorified cameos. I wanted to make sure that we’d actually be intrinsic to everything that was going on. So I sat down with Colin and had a lovely lunch. He’s extremely persuasive. He was also reassuring in that our characters would all be well served. We weren’t just being reunited for the sake of it. So from then on, I was as keen as mustard.”

Hopes had been high for Dominion ahead of its release this Friday, though those have been somewhat tempered by the critical consensus that it’s worse than Fallen Kingdom. It’s currently sitting at a very disappointing 38% on the Tomatometer, with many critics calling it dull, overlong and – astonishingly – that it skimps on the dinos. Well, we’ve already got our ticket for opening night so we’re locked in, but let’s just say we’re revising our expectations down.

Jurassic World: Dominion hits theaters tomorrow.